Welcome to No Fact Zone’s weekly roundup of ‘Colbert Report’ guests, created in the spirit of the oft-enjoyed Fantasy Colbert League. While we can’t start up the online version of the game again, we can make it so that you can get the information you need about the guests before they come on the show.
Just like you, we want to be it-getters before the interviews start. So we’ve compiled brief bios, issues or events that Stephen might bring up during the interview, and a fun Fract (Freedom Fact) to impress your fellow viewers during the commercial breaks. Read, enjoy, and see if you can anticipate how Stephen might nail each of the following guests!
Editor’s Note: As always, guests are subject to change.
Monday, 8/11: Jorge Ramos
Jorge Ramos is the Emmy-winning anchorman for Noticiero Univision, and has been named ‘Star newscaster of Hispanic TV’ by the Wall Street Journal. He has covered five wars since taking the position in 1986. He is the author of a number of books, writes a column for over 40 newspapers in the US and in Latin America, and provides daily radio commentary for the Radio Univision network. His latest book is ‘The Gift of Time: Letters from a Father,’ a reflection on Ramos’ fatherhood. He shares his worries about providing for his children and preparing them for the adult world.
- Fract: Will Forte impersonated Ramos on Saturday Night Live in a Clinton/Obama debate sketch on February 23, 2008 – the first SNL after the WGA writers’ strike.
Tuesday, 8/12: Joey Cheek, Jane Mayer
Olympic speedskater Joey Cheek is a co-founder and the president of Team Darfur, an international group of athletes committed to bringing relief to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. He won the gold medal for the men’s 500-meter skate in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, and donated his winnings to the international children’s aid organization ‘Right To Play.’ He has won a number of humanitarian awards for his work and leadership. He had planned to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to support his fellow Team Darfur athletes, but the Chinese embassy revoked his visa at the last minute. Cheek has criticized China for trading with Sudan.
Investigative journalist Jane Mayer writes for The New Yorker. Her latest book is ‘The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.’ In it, she spells out the current administration’s policies of interrogation, detention, extraordinary renditions, secret prisons and warrantless wiretappings, and the toll this war on terror is taking on our society. She has devoted her time in recent years to presenting wrongdoings within the Bush Administration and the Dick Cheney vice presidency.
- Fract: The Olympic truce is an ancient tradition dating back to the ancient games in Greece, when fighting ceased to ensure safe passage for athletes attending the competitions. Joey Cheek hopes the international community will persuade Sudan to observe this truce, though it has largely been ignored in modern times.
Wednesday, 8/13: Dick Meyer
NPR editorial director Dick Meyer oversees the news, entertainment, and music content on NPR.org. He joined NPR from the editorial director’s position at CBSNews.com, and has worked as a producer and off-air reporter for CBS News. In his latest work, ‘Why We Hate Us: American Discontent in the New Millennium,’ Meyer asks why Americans seem to hate themselves and each other during a time of prosperity and peace. He suggests that social changes in the 1960s and the technological revolution have left Americans “morally and existentially tired, disoriented, anchorless, and defensive.”
- Fract: While at CBS News, Meyer was part of the investigative team that uncovered the secrecy surrounding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – that the Pentagon knew whose remains were buried. His work helped bring about the exhumation and DNA identification of those remains.
Thursday, 8/14: Bing West
Author Francis J. ‘Bing’ West hails from Dorchester, MA (don’t pronounce those R’s) and is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs under President Reagan. He is now president of the GAMA Corporation, a company that designs wargames and combat decision-making simulations. His latest book, ‘The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq‘, describes how American troops managed to stage a huge turnaround amidst the potential catastrophes of the Iraq War in 2006.
- Fract: Bing West and his son, Owen West, are writing a Universal Studios screenplay for his book ‘No True Glory,’ about the frontlines of the battle for Fallujah in Iraq.